plant now ?

judyhi(6)August 1, 2011

I have several large potted plants (Liatris, delphiniums, sweet William, cutleaf coneflower) that I never planted and want to plant. When would be the least damaging time given it's August and the weather is very hot? If I wait, will the roots not have time?

Thanks for your help.

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Judy you don't give a clue to where you garden. Your plants are all perennials and if you lived near me, I would get them in the ground as soon as possible. Even if they don't bloom this summer they will get an early start on next year. Planting in the heat of summer is always a risk, so they will need constant care, or some protection for the first couple of weeks. Al

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 9:00AM
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Thanks Al. It is New Jersey.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 10:17AM
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leslie197(z5 MI)

In my zone 5 we've had a hot summer (for us). It is in the 90s today and that temp is projected for awhile yet. Some years we get cooler weather (ie, not swimming/boating weather) by mid-August, other years are nice well into September. Your season in NJ zone 6 should be somewhat longer and later.

There is absolutely no need to rush your planting yet. If it is hot where you are now, you can safely wait until it is more comfortable working weather. Plants that are planted into the ground here in September do just fine. I always TRY to stop planting before late September, but have planted (and had most plants survive) even in October. The ground does not generally freeze here until after the stakes for Christmas decorations go into the ground in mid/late December (making removing them in January a real problem), so even an early October planted perennial has a good chance to settle in okay.

Only exceptions I have found to late planting have been the big nursery-grown fall-flowering plants like showy large-flowered mums and Honorine Jobert, the white fall flowering Japanese Anemone.

P.S. Most coneflowers are somewhat iffy for me no matter when they are planted. Some return, most don't, but I do get some reseeding here and there to fill in.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 2:48PM
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It is not good for the roots of Delphiniums to stay too long in pots, especially being exposed to high temperatures.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 8:58PM
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I find fall planting to be ideal, but I do plant midsummer and then keep an eye on watering and provide some shade from a tomato cage covered with light fabric clothes-pinned on, a yard chair placed to give it south and west shade or anything else that will give it a bit of shelter while it settles in. Plants I have in pots at this time of year I try to place so that the pot is in shade in the hot parts of the day and I check their watering often.

The nice thing about fall planting is that the air is cooler, but the soil is still warm, which is good for root growth and lower stress on the plant. I mulch after planting to help keep moisture levels even and the soil warm as well as to help prevent frost heaving when there isn't snow.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 8:06AM
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